#NC-01230-ED - Notecards
#PR-01230-ED - Open Edition Print
Barracks was designed by New York architect Alexander Jackson
Davis in 1850 and construction was begun the same year by Philadelphia
contractor Morris, Tasker & Morris. The first part of the
planned structure, completed in September 1851, included the south
side with towers at each end, from which the east and west wings
extended at right angles. In 1864 VMI was shelled and burned by
Union troops, leaving only the thick stone and brick walls of
the Barracks standing. It has been rebuilt, remodeled and extended
several times without changing the exterior appearance of the
original structure. By 1923 Davis plan was completed and
the east and west wings had been extended to join a north wing.
A new section to the left of the center tower was opened in 1949.
The Barracks, which dominates the 12-acre parade ground, was designated
a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
statue of Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson depicts
him as he surveyed the field at Chancellorsville before his death
in 1863. It is the work of Sir Moses Ezekiel, 1866 VMI graduate
and member of the Corps of Cadets which fought at New Market.
Guns of the Rockbridge Battery, known to generations of cadets
as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were cast in 1848
and used by Jackson in cadet artillery training.
23 cadets and two instructors, the nations first state-supported
military college opened its doors on November 11, 1839, on the
site of the Lexington Arsenal, one of three in Virginia at the
time. Todays Corps of Cadets includes approximately 1,300
candidates for the bachelors degree in sciences, engineering,
and the humanities. Studies of a full college curriculum are combined
with a daily regime of military training and discipline, with
emphasis placed on qualities of honesty, integrity and responsibility.
© 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah.